Stop, Rest, Feast

by Sisterlisa

Any mom knows BEFORE our baby is born, we love him/her. We give birth to and hold a child we LOVE deeply; the child can't do a single thing to make us happy, except just BE. So must we see our relationship with God in Christ Jesus the same way. Stop trying to get out of his arms to fly on your own and just BE. He already loves you! When it's time to fly it'll be Him holding you in His grasp as He flies. You get to go along for the ride. Not because of YOU or what YOU "do", but because of HIM.

There was a time, as a matter of fact MANY times, when I was just so tired of "doing" all the time. My service to God seemed mundane and powerless. Oh, don't get me wrong. I still had children coming to my Sunday School class. I was still singing in the choir, I still had visitors coming to church. But I was tired. My heart just wasn't in it anymore. The thought of stepping down made me feel awful. I was told over and over again not to be a quitter. But my love and passion had died. Why such a disenchantment? Had I lost my first Love, Jesus? I reminisced the day He revealed His Son to me. I remembered crying, desiring Him. What happened to that? Was I like the seeds tossed on stony ground? Sure I was learning, studying, diligently attending church. I was ever learning, but not able to come to the Knowledge! All my learning was getting me absolutely nowhere. I was lost.

Oh I knew the map, I thought I was staying my course...that was it. It was MY course. Or rather, the one the leader told me to follow. It was a religious course, not a real genuine walk with Jesus. I was following a map drawn by the religious leaders of yesteryear of a denomination. My works were just that, mine. All mine.

As we look on our outward, observe our 'works' from outside looking on, we seem to be going in the right direction. However, take a moment to look at our inward, with the eyes of God and ask "Is Christ in there? Is this Christ manifesting, or self manifesting?" God already knows the we? Is it really HIM showing in our outward or is it us?

Are our works equal to our relationship with Jesus? If in our minds we think serving in religious works is the foundation of our relationship with Jesus, then we have surely created an idol out of ourselves and our works.

Are our works really how we show Jesus we love Him? 
Did our babies do anything to show us love?

My relationship with Jesus Christ is not contigent upon my religious works. Any 'works' that manifest through me as I die to self is only of Him. Religious works not empowered by Him through my daily death is just self-righteous works of filthy rags. If any work I do is motivated by what I think should be done or by what another says should be done, then it is done in vain.

Exodus 20:7, "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain."

The word vain (In Hebrew; shav שָׁוְא) in this passage does not mean to curse His name as a swear word. It means to use it in emptiness. Meaning, taking the label from the designer and smacking it on your own garment.

So now what? If we realize our works are just that, OURS, then should we be doing them?
Are we in love with our own self righteous works or are we in love with Jesus?

He doesn't NEED us to DO anything to show Him we love Him. We don't have to prove our love for Him. He ALREADY loves us!

Well, aren't we supposed to show fruit of a Christian?
Our religious works are not fruit. The fruit of the Spirit is of the Spirit. The fruit we should be bearing is only there if we are soaking up the Living Water. Only HE can cause us to bear fruit. Fruit does not grow because of what we DO. It grows because of Who is feeding us. He said we would be like a tree planted by the River. 

Are we drinking at the springs of Living Water? Are we panting for Him as the deer pants for the water in a dry thirsty land?

A tree can not go to the store and buy fruit then place it upon it's own branches. It must come from within.

Have you been grafted in? Is He the Living Water supplying you with all your needs according to His riches in glory? Is it HIS blood coursing through your veins?

I believe that churches and Christians place far too much pressure on us to perform. They don't give us room to breathe! Take a deep breath and step back for a time. He would rather you take a break to get re-focused on HIM than to continue running around the the wrong label on the wrong garment. Stepping down from a religious position is not a bad thing. You're not going to fall victim to the devil if you take a break. But you most certainly can fall if your plate is so full that you don't have time with your Master.

It's perfectly acceptable to take a break, have a nap, He did say to rest. Rest in HIM. Basque in His presence once again and soak Him all up! Sit as HIS feet, Feast on HIM.

In a fire drill we say stop, drop, roll. 
But He says, Stop, Rest, Feast.
Cease from YOUR labors.
Rest in HIM.
Feast upon HIM.
When it's your turn to work, it will be when HE chooses to work through you. So stop and let Him do all that He has purposed for you, not what you or someone else purposes for you.

All glory to Him who sits on the Throne!

Sisterlisa is a homeschooling mom of four children and married to an evangelist who travels to bring the gospel to those in need of our Savior. She is the owner of Growing in Grace Magazine and AGMinistries.

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